Serum biomarkers of tubal ectopic pregnancy: current candidates and future possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Ectopic pregnancy remains a considerable cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently, it is diagnosed using a combination of transvaginal ultrasound and serial serum beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin levels. Diagnosis is often delayed and these tests are time-consuming and costly, both psychologically to the patient and financially to health services. The development of a biomarker that can differentiate a tubal ectopic from an intrauterine implantation is therefore important. In the pre-genomic era, a one-by-one scientific approach has revealed over 20 candidate biomarkers that could be used as a test to diagnose ectopic pregnancy although at present their clinical utility is very limited. These biomarkers cluster into themes: markers of abnormal embryo/trophoblast growth, markers of abnormal corpus luteum function, markers of a growing pregnancy in the Fallopian tube, markers of inflammation and peritoneal irritation, and uterine markers of normal implantation. It is likely that this thematic approach will facilitate the identification of newer biomarkers using microarray technology and inform the development of investigative paradigms using multiple markers at the time of presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
JournalReproduction
Volume138
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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